The diplomacy of a Priestess

I feel like I have neglected this blog for quite some time. I have been meaning to write, but life has gotten in the way. It was earlier today that a situation came up and opened the door for a blog.

The situation was in a group that I moderate, the topic "Animal Sacrifice" this is such a sticky subject, a practice that I personally don't subscribe to, and it is for no other reason that I just don't. I don't find the need to do it, and I have a hard time harming others animal or human. I have practiced blood magic, using my Moon blood or my own finger. I have used these in shadow work, and deep healing rituals. This can be a very potent and powerful practice.

A situation arose where the topic went from being a good healthy discussion to an attack on the original poster. This is when we as Priestess or even Priest need to put on our Priest/ess hats and do what we were trained to do, become the voice of reason. It doesn't matter what my personal beliefs are at this point. I don't need to make a point, and I am not threatened by this practice as it doesn't undermine my own. What matters is how the entire situation is treated. Attacking the poster based on my own beliefs does absolutely NO good. It does no good to the work I do as a Priestess, and it does no good to the actual poster. The path of the Priestess if one of higher calling. It is one of the "village elder" you don't see the elder out there quarreling with the people of the village. NO they are the voice of reason, the dispute settlers.

Unfortunately this is many times met with an unreasonable person. One who doesn't want to see reason, or believes that their beliefs or opinion are so much more important than another that they cant take a few moments to treat them like a human being and actually listen. Why not just say "I don't agree with your practice, but I still respect you" Why is this so hard a concept to grasp? We demand respect, but yet those very same people who demand it, refuse to give it. When this occurs many times the Priestess becomes the "bad guy" or worse yet can actually loose a friend. There is only so far a Priestess can go. She can not make the others see reason, just refuse to communicate with the unreasonable until they have decided to open their mind and heart. Respecting someones practice is much different that accepting ones practice, and that is still different than actually practicing it.

The path of the Priestess is not one of glamor, it is one of taking the high road, being the voice of reason, putting your own feelings aside for the good of the community or village. It sometimes means loosing a friend for the greater good. It sometimes breaks your heart. I was not called here to have a happy heart, and to skip through fields of flowers oblivious of turmoil. It requires immense strength, it requires wisdom, and above all it requires taking into account the greater good over the wants and needs of our own.

What is a Priestess?

I am a Priestess. This is something that I earned, something that I have literally put blood, sweat, and many tears into. If you are wondering if my training required these things the answer is no. My training demanded academic and spiritual work. The training from Goddesses demands blood, sweat, tears, time, and complete surrender.

It was when I had started to teach my students in the craft that the reality of what a Priestess really was came to me. It wasn't a light bulb moment, but a series of light bulbs, that got me thinking. The first thought was "not everyone is a Priestess" No, not everyone has the time, or will to become a Priestess. Many do want to learn, but not serve in the way a Priestess does. This led me to make a change in my own curriculum. Traditionally it is a 1 year and 1 day program for a student to become a Witch and Preistess in many Tradidtional Wicca covens/traditions. I have seen students who genuinely want to learn, drop out because the work was too much, too hard. This creates discouragement for the student and teacher. So I decided to make it easier. Get my students the information they need, without setting them up for failure.

This brought me to the next thought, this work is too easy for a Priestess in training. The work of a Priestess is filled with constant self examination, constant checking, and constant training. As soon as you have figured it out, there is something new, for you to learn, understand, or face. It is almost like walking a balance beam. Always on the verge of falling too far in one direction. It is about finding balance in the self, and then turning around and helping others do the same.

As you have seen in previous blogs, you have read that I know and fully understand my purpose. I am here to be a Priestess. At first you might think that this is a glamorous thing. No, it is not. There is nothing glamorous about it, other than the title. A Priestess in training must first find self balance. This can be a hard and daunting task. Added to that are rigorous academics so that the Priestess understands the laws of human nature, magic, the natural world, and the spirit world.

A Priestess's job is to help others, to preside over sacred ceremonies, rituals and rites. Her job is to be a steward of the land, a right hand to her Goddess. A shining upstanding example of a Woman, a leader, and servant to her Goddess. To achieve this she must be in balance. Balance is hard, to far to the right and you become righteous, too far to the left and you loose your mind. It requires daily self work. There is no time for low self-esteem (though YES we are human and do suffer from this, but there is simply no time for it) No time to wallow in self pity, no our work requires that we walk with confidence. To become a good Priestess you must be physically well, in shape and healthy. This doesn't mean that there is no room for weakness, sickness, or injury. It means that, in order for our work to continue we must maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Beyond making sure our mundane lives are in order, we must be able to flow with the cycles of the moon, the wheel of the year, the seasons of Goddesses. We must learn flexibility without sacrifice. Now is the time of Goddesses, Now is the time for the Priestess to come and lead us home to the mother. Those that have been called, dont just hear the call, there is something that vibrates through their very being, pulls them towards the path, something that says THIS is more important that "I". I am the vessel that does the work of my Goddesses. There is no time for self pity, drama, and bickering. No, the Priestess must rise above it. How can the Priestess serve the Goddess, the community, and her students/family if she is wraped up in petty worries, drama, and other things that do not serve our spirit?

Beautiful is the woman who hears the call and chooses to follow, Brave is the woman who kneels before her Goddess ready to accept the mantle of the Priestess. Strong is the woman who chooses the Path of the Priestess despite the weight the position brings. Smart is the woman who understands that this is not a path of status, but of servitude. Now is the time of the Priestess.

There is not much information on Priestess of old, as much had been destroyed, and demonised by the church. With the rise of Neo-Paganism, Roman and Greek resurgence and Celtic reconstructionism, as well as influence from other cultures, we can look back at their work, what they did, how they dressed, how they served. We can begin to make educated guesses, as to how they conducted themselfs. We can see that these women were of GREAT strength, great power, and great love, but that they did not abuse these things.

Today a good Priestess is one who loves with all her heart, takes no crap, is educated in the ways of the world, knowledge herbs, and esoteric subjects. She is a healer, a spirtual leader, keeper of the flame. She has the ability to lead and serve at the same time. She flows with her cycle, the cycle of the moon, and seasons. She understands the elements and has a deep relationship with them. She can cradle a baby, but yet move a mountian. She is self aware, and aware of what is going on around her. Many are psychic or diviners. They can access the "otherside" with ease, and walks with one foot in each world. She is the maker of magic, and life, but yet she understand death, rebirth, and the deep dark crevices of the shadow. She understands how to work with the darker energies, but walks in the light. She can bind, but wont curse (unless there is no other choice). She is the creatrix and the destroyer. She holds "her" world in the palm of her hand and can nurture it, but knows one wrong move and it can be destroyed. She learned to think for herself, but not put herself first. She can manuipulate energy, and chooses to use it for good. She can heal herself, and others. She trusts in herself, her decisions, and actions because she has surrendered to her Goddess and understands her actions are a reflection of her Goddess. She is trustworthy, and truthful, she has integrity, balance and dedication to the path. Ultimately she must be wise, years of self work, and consulting her Goddess is the only key to finding deep wisdom. She must find time to spend in prayer, ritual, and meditation with her Goddess, but also create opportunities for others. She is the Holy Grail. The vessel of her Goddess, the key to life. 

Many women take the title, but are not living this way. Many live this way but do not take the title. Not every one is cut out of the Priestess cloth, think hard and long before you accept this path. It is not an easy road, but the work we do is so wonderful, and so powerfully trans-formative that the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears are worth every hard moment. Especially when you see someone you have helped, go forth into the world, with balance and beauty. We make a difference, we make an impact, but you wont find us picketing, you wont find us screaming about a cause, no because the work we do is one person at a time. A small ripple in the pond, that may, one day change the world.